European Union approves budget cuts

Nov. 20, 2013 at 1:25 PM

BRUSSELS, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Members of the European Union's parliament have voted to cut spending by about $47 billion through 2017.

The budget that runs from 2014-2020 will cap spending at $1.3 trillion, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

It is the first time lawmakers for the EU have voted for a smaller overall budget and it represents a victory for Germany, Britain and the Netherlands, which have advocated for spending less, the Journal said.

The cuts were less than the $250 billion reduction Britain was seeking.

The proposal passed with a 537-126 vote that included 19 abstentions.

"One single year's budget represents more money -- in today's prices -- than the whole Marshall Plan in its time," said EU President Jose Manuel Barroso.

He said the budget, which comes to 1 percent of the region's gross domestic product, would "help to strengthen and sustain the [economic] recovery under way across the European Union."

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